Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

According to many communication scholars, aggression is a consequence of sociocultural experiences and less often considered an evolved response to environmental triggers. While there are many factors of aggression, an evolutionary rationale helps to isolate which of these factors are more crucial in explaining aggression among women, one of which is physical attractiveness. Far from superficial, attractive women enjoy better bargaining positions during intrasexual competition than those less attractive, and aggress to negotiate better treatment from rivals. However, evidence of this is mixed because women exaggerate their physical attractiveness during times of heightened ovulatory fertility. Consequently, women’s competitive bargaining positions are based on the interplay between everyday attractiveness and their exaggerations of physical attractiveness. In comparison to traditional social psychology and communication models of aggression, human evolution more parsimoniously explains the ways women functionally match their communication of aggression to many environmental triggers and individual differences between competitors.

Keywords: aggression, communication, human evolution, intrasexual competition, ovulatory fertility, physical attractiveness

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.